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Six Twelve Entertainment Interviews Southern Rock Band Stone Senate

Stone Senate has been called “a heavier version of Lynyrd Skynyrd, crossed with The Allman Brothers Band.” While being mentioned in such heady company is flattering, one thing Stone Senate is most definitely not, is a retro act. They are taking what came naturally from their collective influences a step further.

If you were to write an intro for “Always Never Fades” before it played on the radio, what would you want listeners to know about the song?

(Clint Woolsey) I started “Always Never Fades” several years ago with some different bandmates, and I had the verse, riff, and some lyrics for it, and then we added the chorus riff to it later on using a drop D tuning to spice it up a little bit. Then, finally, a bridge, and last but not least, James (the lead guitarist) came up with the guitar intro right before we recorded it. It’s funny how it came together and took several years to finish, but we are very happy with the way it came out. The lyrics are about a relationship with a girl that went south and how regrets and guilt can really weigh a person down. Lots of songs are about failed relationships, so you really have to try to make each song special and stand out. Sometimes that takes a while to finish.

6 Things You Don’t Know About Us:

Touring together since 2012. Who inspires you as musicians?

We have always looked at touring as the best way to spread the word about the band, and so many of our favorite bands over the years have toured like crazy. From Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band, The Black Crowes and Grateful Dead, to Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Drive-By Truckers. We all saw the impact of heavy touring early on in this band, and what impact it could have on us. Also, not having a ton of money to chase radio and do things like that, the one thing we could control was how much we played live. Meeting folks, playing rooms with no one in them, and playing rooms with a full house, it all makes the band better players, stronger unit, better pals, and better music, and we have gotten to learn that from a lot of great bands and players.

Can you share the band’s favorite road traditions on tour?

We always tend to have a good time on tour! We all enjoy the same things, so it really makes it a pleasant experience being on the road together. We all really dig historical sites and monuments and stuff, as well as some touristy stuff, so we make a lot of stops when we have the time and see everything that we can see. We also make time for some beers and some hangin’ out, whether it’s after a show or on a day off. We get lucky and go see friends play when we can, do some radio station stops, write some songs, get a rehearsal in, and do some bar hopping!

The new EP, Dawn, is the follow-up to the EP Dusk, which, together, represent the band’s reflective approach to foreseeing both the dark and the light. How do you represent each through your modern-day guitar riffs?

Well, the Dusk EP and the Dawn EP together, plus a couple more songs, make up the 13-song album Between the Dark and the Light, which will be out early next year. We recorded Between the Dark and the Light in 2 sessions, the first EP, Dusk, being the first session, and the second EP, Dawn, being the second session. All these songs were written and constructed as a band, along with our pal and producer, and all-around badass dude, Toby Wright. It had been 4 years since our last release, Star City, so we had a ton of ideas and guitar riffs, lyrics and poems, and songs to throw into the pile of what we wanted to all choose from to make the full album “Between the Dark and the Light.” That title is a lyric from the song “Whiskey Helps” and really fits the feel and vibe of the full album Between the Dark and the Light. There are some rockin’ up-tempo feel-good songs and some really emotional heartbreak songs on there, which really represent how the band writes together and what we pull from in the writing process. The Dusk and Dawn titles for these two EPs were what we thought would come out of the full album title, Between the Dark and the Light.

If you could ask one musician just one question about one of their songs, which musician, which song, and what would the question be?

Hmmmm, that is a good question! We had two of the band members answer this question.

James Edwards (lead guitar) –

I would ask Hank how it felt as that pen or pencil moved across the page. Did he know he had written his masterpiece?

Ted Hennington (lead guitar) –

I’d ask him how he was so tapped into how Jesus feels about us. This song has pulled me through more times than I can count.

Favorite moment from meet & greets?

Really, every meet and greet is special for us! We get to meet folks that love the music and the band, buy the music and the merchandise, and stuff, and get to hang out and maybe have a beer or something, and hear their stories of how our music has a special place in their life, which is amazing to us! We are lucky to have fans and friends like that!

What are your plans for the coming months?

We tour almost year-round, so we do lots of touring in the US, and we are aiming to get over to Europe soon and hit the market. We will have a full 13-song album out early next year called “Between the Dark and the Light.” Also planning on recording a new album next year and playing a ton of new cities and venues, meeting a lot more people, and playing a lot more music! It’s what we love to do, and we are lucky to get to do it.

Can you share 12 songs that have influenced your lives and careers?

(James Edwards) Blue Moon of Kentucky” – Bill Monroe

Growing up playing bluegrass with my Dad, and hearing Bill do this one at festivals, takes me all the way back. Sweet memories.

(James Edwards) “Amazing Grace”

The ultimate song of redemption. It can put a lump in my throat every time. Powerful stuff.

(James Edwards) “Both Sides Now” Joni Mitchell

A very moving song for me. Especially a re-recording she made of it in the early 2000’s. A perfect lyric and melody. Something to aspire to.

(James Edwards) Sunday Morning Coming Down”Kris Kristofferson

It has to be the more mellow version that Kris did just bare bones. I felt I had lived it. Been there, survived it. It also showed the way for me as a writer. The honesty and not one word wasted. It’s damned hard to beat Kris.

(Ted Hennington) “O Holy Night”

My earliest memories were my dad singing this at church.

(Ted Hennington) “Johnny B. Goode” – Chuck Berry

Made me want to play guitar.

(Ted Hennington) “Just As I Am” – Hymn

Let me know I was worth it to Jesus.

(Ted Hennington) Over The Mountain” – Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads

This song changed it all for me, the guitar, and what I wanted to do with my life.

(Clint Woolsey) Dreams” – Allman Brothers Band

Overall inspiration to pursue music when I heard this at a very early age.

(Clint Woolsey) The Doors

Made we want to write poetry and lyrics.

(Clint Woolsey) The Velvet Underground

Made me want to write music in general.

(Clint Woolsey) George Strait

Made me appreciate real Country music and Texas swing, which made me want to marry Rock ‘n’ roll and country music into one style when I write.



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